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where to stay in/near Reykjavik


Where would you recommend we stay that is a "family type" area and preferably somewhat close to the coast?
I am finding good deals including flight and hotel through Expedia; however am not sure which hotel to choose.

In addition, is traveling to Iceland the first week in September too early to hopefully see the Northern LIghts?

Thank you in advance!

Posted by
15690 posts

Have you not seen the dozens if not hundreds of posts by experienced travelers here who suggest you book direct and bypass the third party vendors?

If there is a problem with your flight or your hotel, the airline or hotel will not fix it. You will have to go through Expedia.

Reykjavik is on the coast. In September, you'll be lucky if the temperature gets above 55 degrees F. Reykjavik is not a beach destination.

The probability of seeing the Northern Lights the first week of September is very remote. I have seen them near the end of September.

Posted by
721 posts

Definitely book directly with the airline. We've used IcelandAir many times and we will be using them again this summer.

Do you plan to stay in Reykjavik the whole time?

How long will your trip be?

Why specifically do you want a hotel in Reykjavik somewhat close to the coast? Which coast do you mean?

Posted by
96 posts


Ok.... thank you for the advice! I'll check IcelandAir.
I was thinking of going for the first week of Sept. (to include Labor Day, so as not to
have to take as many days offf of work.)
However, maybe it'd be best not to center our trip around that, and going later in Sept. or October to have
a better chance of seeing the lights??

Is it possible to have Reykjavik be our home base and leave from there each day to see:

Blue Lagoon,
Golden Circle
Jokulsarlon (Glacier Lagoon, Fjallsarlon Iceberg Lagoon, Diamond Beach, Gletsjerlagunene,....)
(Hmmmm... spend the night here? It looks like a lot to see/do?!)
Westman Island

Does anyone have an itinerary we could follow?

Zodiac Boat ride

Posted by
721 posts

The TripAdvisor Iceland forum and the Travel Iceland Facebook page have lots of itineraries you can follow. And, you can look back through the many threads here on this forum for ideas.

Regarding using Reykjavik as a base, that is not a good idea. For the Golden Circle, maybe, but why go out and back over the same roads every day? You could stay in Reykjavik the first night to recover from jet lag, then drive the GC and spend the night somewhere like Hella or Selfoss. Then go to Vik and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon from there. If you are looking at Google Maps to plan your trip, add on at least 20% to their estimated times for a more realistic idea.

Use or to find lodging and book early. Iceland is very busy and outside of Reykjavik there is not much choice for lodging.

Posted by
2483 posts

I like Icelandair, but they fly from only a few US cities. I book apartments thru, twice at Skolvoroustigur apartments ( the o’s have marks over them - i can’r do them on my ipad ! )

I’ve booked transportation to/from airport and excursions with Grayline. Best to book in advance. On our first trip we tried booking the Golden Circle trip and it was booked solid the next day, fortunately they had room the day after

Posted by
9 posts

We are basing ourselves in Reykjavik. I know many do not agree, but you have to do what works for you. I am going with 2 good friends, leaving hubbies home, it’s our retirement trip. None of us wanted to drive. I’ve spoken with people who did that and they enjoyed the experience.
We will be there for 7 full days, including the day we arrive at 615. We are considering doing the Blue Lagoon on the way from the airport and also doing the Reykjavik food tour that day. 4 other days will be various tours all around Iceland. One day will probably be just checking Reykjavik out. And one day maybe Sky Lagoon, perhaps a puffin rib boat tour right out of Reykjavik.